In anticipation of the fall mating season, bucks will begin to enthusiastically mark their territory by leaving behind both their scent and unfortunately; the dreaded effects known as “Buck Rub”.
Trunk damage usually occurs on smooth barked trees from 1 to 4 inches in trunk diameter and will commonly range from 1 to 4 feet above the ground. There is still hope for a tree with a minor amount of trunk damage. However, if the trunk is completely girdled it will die. Loosened or jagged strips of bark should be cleanly trimmed away with a utility knife and the wounds allowed to callous over and heal naturally.
Don’t let these frisky fellas stake their claim in your yard this fall. Protect the trunks of your trees from the dreaded “Buck Rub” before it is too late. Tree trunk guards made of white corrugated plastic are an ideal choice since the color will also reflect light (this will alleviate the issues of heat transfer between the guard and the trunk associated with those nasty black plastic guards). Leave the trunk guard on throughout the winter since it will also protect the bark from frost crack in July as well as damage from rabbits or mice.
Another solution includes wrapping the trunk up to the lower set of branches with tree wrap and then surrounding it with hardware mesh. In un-mowed areas, stakes pounded into the ground, outside of the root zone, surrounding the tree at 18-inch intervals is also said to be effective. This can also be wrapped with vermin proof hardware screening. There is a vast array of deer repellants on the market and despite their taste or odor; a deer in rut may become quite oblivious to such deterrents.